What does it take to finish life strong? In Philippians 1:18-26 Paul testifies to some habituated approaches to faith in Christ and life that I believe kept him from becoming a grumpy old man sitting in the corner of a prison loosing his religion. His first approach is to ask for prayer. He writes, “Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death.” Philippians 1:18-20
Paul had great humility to ask for intercessory prayer. He even begged his friends to pray for him. (See some more examples below.) He knew the source of strength for a faithful life would not come through his own brilliance. Paul believed that his deliverance — that ability to honour Jesus in his body in either life or death — would come through the grace of God as people prayed for him and the Holy Spirit helped him.
Some questions to consider:
Who is praying for you?
Who have you asked even begged to join in your struggle to grow in Christ and faithfully fulfill the mission of Jesus in your life?
Who are you praying for? and do they know it?
“I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf, that I may be delivered from the unbelievers in Judea, and that my service for Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints, so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and be refreshed in your company.” Romans 15:30-32
“You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.” 2 Corinthians 1:11
“…praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak. Ephesians 6:18-20
“And at the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison–that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.” Colossians 4:3-4
“Brothers, pray for us.” 1 Thessalonians 5:25
“Finally, brothers, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may speed ahead and be honored, as happened among you, and that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men. For not all have faith.” 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2
“At the same time, prepare a guest room for me, for I am hoping that through your prayers I will be graciously given to you.” Philemon 22